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Mirrorsoft Ltd
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

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Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

Meet Professor Humpty Bogus, inventor of the digital teabag - sounds like the type of character who turns up in my Subs Club letters column from time to time. But no, he's the villain of this smidgeon-under-a-megagame game called Moonstrike. Not satisfied with the digital teabag, Bogus has also built a Tachyon Vortex on the far side of the moon, and he's threatening to blow up the earth with this superweapon. Your mission (and you're advised to stop the tape loading if you're not interested) is to breach the lunar defences and destroy the Vortex.

Moonstrike is best described as a slightly slowed- down version of Slap Fight. It's the same idea of moving your ship forward over the scrolling-down landscapes, zapping and dodging, with equally good graphics and smooth movement, but it's all done at a slightly slower pace. This should be an improvement for an aged wrinklie like me, but I found it a bit annoying that my ship wouldn't move quite quickly enough - a bit like flying through treacle.

In fact blobs of treacle are one of the enemy defences, along with light bulbs, and while these come down the screen at you there are various gun defences blasting ping-pong balls in all directions. Well that's what they look like! Whatever they are, it's best to steer clear of the foot of the screen as they carry on firing even after they've scrolled off the bottom, so if you're not careful you quickly get a ping-pong ball up the bum.

In your support you have a cross-hair sight in front of your ship, and you can use this to plant mines to blow up the gun turrets as they come towards you. Your reward for getting to the end of the first level is to face a massive turret which spits bullets in eight direction and clouds of gas just to fill in the gaps - took me ages to past the first of these, and face the pleasures of the even nastier levels beyond. A terrific space shoot-out. Buy! Bye-bye!

A smart little shoot 'em up with simply superb graphics, though a little on the slow side.